BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    







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        |Hearing Date:July 2, 2012          |Bill No:AB                         |
        |                                   |1939                               |
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                      SENATE COMMITTEE ON BUSINESS, PROFESSIONS 
                               AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
                          Senator Curren D. Price, Jr., Chair
                                           

                           Bill No:        AB 1939Author:Pan
                         As Amended:  June 19, 2012Fiscal  Yes

        
        SUBJECT:  Dog licensing: issuance: puppy licenses.
        
        SUMMARY:  Creates a pilot project in specified counties which would 
        require pet dealers, and others as specified, to submit a report once 
        a month to the city or county responsible for licensing dogs with 
        information regarding dog sales and adoptions; sunsets the pilot 
        project provisions as of January 1, 2018; and, allows licensing 
        agencies to issue puppy licenses, as defined.  

        Existing law:
        
        1)Authorizes cities and counties to issue dog licenses and to comply 
          with and specify other requirements regarding the regulation and 
          licensing of dogs within their territorial limits.
        (Food and Agriculture Code (FAC), Division 14. Regulation and 
          Licensing of Dogs  30501 - 31683).

        2)Provides that any dog license tag which is issued by any city and 
          county or city constitutes compliance with all of the provisions 
          regarding the regulation and licensing of dogs if it is issued 
          pursuant to an ordinance which does all of the following:  (FAC  
          30502)

           a)   Substantially complies with all provisions regarding the 
             regulation and licensing of dogs.

           b)   Provides for the wearing of the license tag upon the collar of 
             the dog.

           c)   Provides for the keeping of a record which shall establish the 





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             identity of the person that owns or harbors the dog.   

        3)Declares it unlawful for any person to own, harbor, or keep any dog 
          over the age of four months, or to permit such a dog which is owned, 
          harbored, or controlled by him to run at large, unless the dog has 
          attached to its neck or leg a substantial collar as specified.   
        (FAC  30951)

        4)Requires that in a designated rabies areas every dog owner, after 
          his or her dog attains the age of four months, shall no less than 
          once every two years secure a license for the dog as provided by 
          ordinance of the responsible city, city and county, or county.  
        (Health and Safety Code (HSC)  121690)

        5)Prohibits a public animal control agency, animal or humane shelter, 
          or a rescue group, as defined, from selling or giving away to a new 
          owner any dog that has not been spayed or neutered, except as 
          specified.  (FAC  30503)

        6)Provides that whenever a dog license is issued, if a certificate is 
          presented from a licensed veterinarian that the dog has been spayed 
          or neutered, the tag shall be issued for  one-half or less  of the fee 
          required for a dog.  (FAC  30525,  30804.5; Government Code (GC) 
         38792)

        7)Authorizes a board of supervisors to provide for the issuance of 
          serially numbered metallic dog licenses dog license tag].  (FAC  
          30801)

        8)Authorizes the board of supervisors or animal control department to 
          authorize veterinarians to issue the licenses to owners of dogs who 
          apply for one.  (FAC  30801)

        9)Specifies that licenses shall not exceed a period of two years, 
          unless the person to whom the license is to be issued possesses a 
          dog that has attained the age of 12 months or older, and that has 
          been vaccinated against rabies, chooses a license period as 
          established by the board of supervisors of up to one, two, or three 
          years.  (FAC  30801; GC  38792)

        10)Provides that the fee for issuance of the dog license tag is fifty 
          cents ($0.50).  The board of supervisors may, however, increase the 
          fee.  (FAC  30804) 

        11)Authorizes the legislative body of a city to impose and collect a 
          license fee for a period not to exceed two years and not exceeding 





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          the cost of services relating to dogs.  (GC  38792)

        12)Defines "dog breeder" or "breeder" as a person, firm, partnership, 
          corporation, or other association that has sold, transferred, or 
          given away all or part of three or more litters of 20 or more dogs 
          during the preceding 12 months that were bred and reared on the 
          premises of the person, firm, partnership, corporation, or other 
          association.  (HSC  122045)

        13)Defines "pet dealer" as a person engaging in the business of 
          selling dogs or cats, or both, at retail, and by virtue of the sales 
          of dogs and cats is required to possess a permit pursuant to 
         6019 of the Revenue and Taxation Code.  This definition does not 
          apply to breeders of dogs, nor to any person, firm, partnership, 
          corporation, or other association, that breeds or rears dogs on the 
          premises of the person, firm, partnership, corporation, or other 
          association, that has sold, transferred, or given away fewer than 50 
          dogs in the preceding year.  (HSC  122125 et seq., or the 
          "Lockyer-Polanco-Farr Pet Protection Act")

        14)Defines "purchaser" as a person who purchases a dog or cat from a 
          pet dealer without the intent to resell the animal.  (Id.)

        15)Provides that whenever the Legislature or any state agency mandates 
          a new program or higher level of service on any local government, 
          the State shall provide a subvention of funds to reimburse that 
          local government for the costs of the program or increased level of 
          service unless legislation defines a new crime or changing an 
          existing definition of a crime.  (California Constitution, Article 
          XIIIB  6)

        16)Provides that the Commission on State Mandates shall not find costs 
          mandated by the state in any claim submitted by a local agency or 
          school district if the commission finds that the statute created a 
          new crime or infraction, eliminated a crime or infraction, or 
          changed the penalty for a crime or infraction, but only for that 
          portion of the statute relating directly to the enforcement of the 
          crime or infraction.  (GC  17556)

        This bill:

        1)States the intent of the Legislature to encourage anyone 
          transferring ownership of a dog to advise the new owner that all 
          dogs four months of age or older must be licensed under state law 
          and for all veterinarians to advise their clients to license all of 
          the clients' dogs that are four months of age or older.





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        2)Provides that the following requirements for reporting of specified 
          information regarding the sale or adoption of a dog shall apply to 
          the Counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Sacramento, San Diego, and 
          Santa Clara, including all local jurisdictions within those 
          counties:
         
           a)   Requires a pet dealer, humane society, rescue group, society 
             for the prevention of cruelty to animals, or pet dealer, as 
             defined, to submit once a month, 30 days after the close of 
             business for the previous month, a report to the local 
             governmental entity that is responsible for licensing dogs in the 
             city or county.

           b)   Requires that the report include the name, address, and 
             telephone number of the person who receives the dog, and include 
             descriptions about the dog, and requires that the report not be 
             used, distributed, or released for any purpose, unless as 
             specified.  

           c)   Requires the reporting entity to retain copies of the report 
             for 12 months, and specifies that a report is not required in any 
             month that a dog was not adopted or sold.

           d)   Prohibits the information in the report from being used, 
             distributed or released for any purpose except as specified and 
             to ensure compliance with existing state and local law, including 
             applicable licensing requirements and regulations.

           e)   Provides that a violation of the reporting requirements is 
             punishable by a civil fine, as determined by the local 
             jurisdiction, and shall not exceed fifty dollars ($50) for the 
             first offense and one hundred dollars ($100) for each subsequent 
             offense.

           f)   Provides that a rescue group that places fewer than 20 dogs in 
             a calendar year shall be excluded from the reporting 
             requirements. 

           g)   Allows a local governmental entity to provide notice to a 
             person who receives a dog that was adopted or sold regarding the 
             laws requiring the person to obtain a license for the dog.

           h)   Allows a local governmental entity to notify a different local 
             governmental entity that is responsible for licensing dogs in the 
             jurisdiction in which the person resides, that the person has 





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             adopted or purchased a dog, if that person does not reside within 
             the jurisdiction of the local governmental entity that is 
             providing the notice.

           i)   Defines a "rescue group" as a for-profit or not-for-profit 
             entity, or a collaboration of individuals with at least one of 
             its purposes being the sale or placement of dogs that have been 
             removed from a public animal control agency or shelter or society 
             for the prevention of cruelty to animals shelter, or humane 
             shelter, or that have been previously owned by any person other 
             than the original breeder of that dog.

        3)Allows any other county to enact a local ordinance implementing a 
          program consistent with the requirements as specified in Item # 2), 
          above.

        4)Sunsets the reporting requirement provisions of Item # 2), above, as 
          of January 1, 2018.

        5)Provides that if a certificate is presented from a licensed 
          veterinarian that the dog has been spayed or neutered, then the dog 
          license tag shall be issued one-half or less of the fee required for 
          a dog.

        6)Defines "puppy" to mean any dog under the age of 12 months of age.

        7)Authorizes a licensing entity to issue a "puppy license" for a puppy 
          that is  six   months  of age or less 0 to 6 months], and that the 
          following shall apply:

           a)   A puppy license shall expire when the puppy reaches one year 
             of age;

           b)   A puppy license may be issued with or without an anti-rabies 
             vaccination;

        8)Provides that a puppy license shall expire when the puppy reaches 
           five months  of age if the owner has not provided acceptable proof, 
          on or before that date, to the entity that issued the license that 
          the puppy has received an anti-rabies vaccination, and specifies the 
          following:

           a)   If the puppy license expires because of lack of acceptable 
             proof, that the owner is not eligible to obtain a second puppy 
             license; or,






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           b)   If the owner has provided the issuing agency with satisfactory 
             evidence of the anti-rabies vaccination, the puppy license shall 
             expire when the puppy reaches one year of age.

        9)Provides, upon expiration of a puppy license 12 months], the owner 
          of the puppy shall obtain a dog license tag for a dog that has been 
          spayed or neutered and the fee shall be the same as is contained in 
          existing law, which provides for a fee of fifty cents ($0.50) unless 
          the fee is increased by the board of supervisors;

           a)   Provides, upon expiration of a puppy license, if the puppy has 
              not  been spayed or neutered, the owner of the puppy shall obtain 
             a dog license tag subject to the  regular   fee  for a dog that has 
             not been spayed or neutered;

           b)   Provides that the fee for a puppy license is the  same   fee  
             permitted for a dog that has been spayed or neutered which as 
             specified in Item # 9), above.
           
        10)Provides for the responsible city, county, or city and county to 
          specify the means by which the dog owner is required to provide 
          proof that his/her dog has been spayed or neutered, including, but 
          not limited to, electronic transmission or facsimile.
        11)Declares that no reimbursement is required because the act creates 
          a new crime or infraction to local agencies or school districts 
          under Section 6 of Article XIIIB of the California Constitution and 
          GOV  17556.

        
        FISCAL EFFECT:  According to Assembly Committee on Appropriations 
        analysis dated May 9, 2012, the fiscal impact is negligible.

        
        COMMENTS:  
        
       1.Purpose.  The  Concerned Dog Owners of California  and the  Humane 
          Society of the United States  are the Co-Sponsors of this measure.  
          According to the Co-Sponsors, since the mid-1950s, California has 
          required that dogs be licensed by the time they are four months of 
          age and owners are obligated to provide proof of anti-rabies 
          vaccination and they require that the licenses be issued by the 
          local cities and counties.  As important as dog licensing is to 
          California's local governments and humane agencies - as a way to 
          recover costs associated with handling stray dogs, as a means for 
          identifying dogs to owners quickly, and as assurance for public 
          health related to rabies prevention - statewide dog licensing rates 





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          are a dismal 20 percent.  

       The Co-Sponsors maintain that when the vast majority of dogs are not 
          licensed, our communities deal with the consequences of hundreds of 
          thousands of lost dogs every year.  "Those consequences are both 
          fiscal and moral.  Taxpayers spend a collective $250 million per 
          year for local animal services agencies - and that doesn't account 
          for the tens of millions of philanthropic support to run local 
          SPCAs, humane societies and non-profit animal rescue groups.  And 
          when lost dogs don't get back to their owners, many of them don't 
          leave animal shelters alive.  Both of these outcomes are tragic and 
          oftentimes avoidable." 

       The Co-Sponsors state that the purpose of this bill is to remove some 
          of the barriers that reduce compliance with the state laws that 
          requires dog licensing (which is to be done at the local level).  
          Removing these barriers and increasing licensing would: 

          a)   Get lost dogs home to their owners which results in lower kill 
          rates in the shelters; 
          b)   Provide local government with access to additional revenues;
          c)   Provide local governments with ways to recover costs more 
          quickly. 

          The Co-Sponsors indicate that this bill would require pet stores, 
          non-profit animal shelters and rescue organizations, and high-volume 
          dog breeders in the Counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Sacramento, San 
          Diego, and Santa Clara to provide to their local licensing agency a 
          monthly list of licensing information regarding dogs they have 
          placed.  The local licensing agency may use the data to follow up 
          with new dog owners to complete the licensing process.  This 
          reporting program in the five counties shall remain in effect until 
          January 1st, 2018.  Any other County may enact a local ordinance 
          implementing a similar reporting program. 

          Co-Sponsors additionally explain that this bill would permit cities 
          and counties to offer a puppy license to puppies under the age of 
          four months.  For cities and counties that choose to offer a puppy 
          license, they shall offer it for the same fee charged to owners of 
          altered dogs.  A puppy license would be temporary and become 
          permanent when the owners provide their local licensing agency with 
          proof of proper rabies documentation (no later than five months of 
          age). 

          Co-Sponsors argue that as state and local general revenues have 
          declined, local animal care and regulation agencies have seen a 





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          significant loss of funding - with many agencies losing fifty 
          percent or more of their revenue and associated staff.  The same 
          economic conditions which have resulted in reduced revenues have 
          also increased the demand for public services, resulting in higher 
          intakes.  These agencies - if they are to meet the public's demand 
          to produce better outcomes (more animals leaving alive) - must find 
          ways to improve other revenue sources to recover their costs.  

          The Co-Sponsors believe that by requiring dog seller and adoption 
          agencies to provide contact information of new dog owners to 
          licensing authorities, information that these entities already 
          possess can be utilized readily to follow up on licensing compliance 
          and improve the revenue picture.  "While in theory it would be 
          easier to simply require dog licensing at the time of 
          purchase/adoption, the fact that California has more than 400 
          licensing jurisdictions - each with different fee schedules and 
          forms - renders this option untenable.  While not required by AB 
          1939 to make use of this information, we anticipate that local 
          jurisdictions will not only be anxious to utilize it, but that they 
          will work together to identify ways to share the information they 
          receive with one another so that information about dogs 
          purchased/adopted in one jurisdiction ends up in the possession of 
          the agency with the authority to follow up on compliance.

          The Co-Sponsors further believe that this information will yield far 
          greater returns to local jurisdictions if puppies can be identified 
          and licensed closer to the time they are sold.  "As it stands, 
          licenses can only be issued upon proof of rabies vaccination - an 
          immunization that cannot be given until the dog reaches four months 
          of age.  However, most puppies are sold between two and three months 
          of age.  It's at the time of purchase/adoption that most pet owners 
          are likely to take care of basics like identification and licensing 
          and so it makes sense to offer cities and counties a pathway to this 
          by amending the state law in a way that clarifies the process for 
          puppy licensing should they elect to offer it.  Several 
          jurisdictions already offer puppy licensing even though they're 
          violating state law to do so - and they are reaping the rewards of 
          higher identification rates and longer-term revenue associated with 
          annual licensing renewal of those dogs.  (For example, the 
          Co-Sponsors point out that reports similar to the monthly licensing 
          reports required in this measure have generated over $500,000 
          annually for the City of San Jose.)

        2.Background.  California state law requires that all dogs over the 
          age of four months be vaccinated against rabies and possess a 
          license.  Licensing is a means of identification in the event that a 





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          dog becomes lost.  Licensing revenues aid licensing entities in 
          promoting and protecting human and animal safety.  Failure to 
          license one's dog may result in fines, penalties and/or citations.

          According to data from the American Veterinary Medical Association, 
          California itself has approximately 9.3 million dogs.  Approximately 
          715,000 dogs die each year in California. In 2008, about 1,900,000 
          dogs were licensed with the possibility of under-reporting.

          According to information provided by the Sponsors, 80% of dogs in 
          shelters have an owner, but only 16-20% are returned to their owners 
          because of licensing.  Low rates of licensing compliance also 
          results in lower revenue for local governments.  

          According to the American Humane Association Web site, it is 
          generally safe to spay or neuter most puppies at 8 weeks of age.  
          Once a dog is spayed or neutered, it may qualify for the fee 
          discount pursuant to FAC  30525, 30804.5 and GC  38792 of 
          one-half, or less of the fee required for a dog.

          This bill does not require vaccination as a pre-requisite to 
          licensing; however, owners must still vaccinate the puppy when it 
          reaches 4 months of age.  If the owner has not provided acceptable 
          proof when the puppy reaches five months of age that the puppy has 
          received an anti-rabies vaccination, the puppy license shall expire 
          until the issuing agency receives satisfactory evidence indicating 
          the puppy has received vaccination.

          After one year, puppies are considered adults.  This bill provides 
          that the puppy license shall expire when the puppy reaches one year 
          of age and upon expiration of this license, the owner must obtain a 
          regular dog license.

        3.Current Declines in Dog Licensing and Licensing Compliance.  
          According to the California Department of Public Health, the past 
          three decades have seen a sharp decline in the number of California 
          dogs licensed per 1000 people.  In 1996-97 Los Angeles Animal 
          Services saw 137,000 animals licensed which shrank to 125,000 in 
          2006-2007.  Additional information reveals that in 2009, only 16% of 
          California's dogs were licensed.  Supporters contend that by 
          permitting licensing and education when a dog is still a puppy, 
          licensing compliance will go up.

          The Los Angeles Animal Services had a different method of improving 
          compliance by implementing their License Canvassing program, which 
          utilized employees in a canvassing effort, following up on breeding 





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          permits.  They saw positive results in increasing compliance, 
          bringing in 6,500 licenses and $282,000 in revenue. 

           4.   Current Reporting Requirements for Pet Dealers.  Much of the 
             existing reporting for pet dealers requirements are established 
             in the Lockyer-Polanco-Farr Pet Protection Act (Act).  Apart from 
             setting forth definitions for pet dealers and purchasers, the Act 
             sets forth guidelines for the health and safety of dogs and cats. 
              The Act also sets forth information pet dealers shall provide to 
             purchasers, including information on disease, illness, and any 
             congenital or hereditary condition that adversely affects the 
             health of the dog at the time of sale.  It also provides for a 
             civil penalty of $1,000 per violation of the Act.  

          Pet dealers are also required to provide a basic standard of living 
          for dogs and sets forth provisions addressing dog illness after 
          purchase regarding refunds and veterinary costs.  Pet dealers are 
          also required to provide the purchaser at the time of sale, a 
          written notice of rights upon request setting forth rights provided 
                                                                                         for in the Act.  

           5.   Measure May Decrease Euthanasia for Shelter Dogs.  A key 
             concern of some animal groups is the number of dogs that are 
             euthanized when they are not reclaimed by owners, transferred, 
             adopted, or die of natural causes in shelters.  They believe that 
             euthanasia of dogs would decrease if more owners are reunited 
             with dogs in shelters through increased licensing efforts.  

          According to information from the California Department of Public 
          Health, 35% of shelter dogs are euthanized, 16% are reclaimed by 
          owners and 27% are adopted.  Increasing licensing tools for local 
          governmental entities may improve the percentage of dogs reclaimed 
          by owners from shelters.  According to the California Department of 
          Public Health, if there is a 10% increase in the rate at which lost 
          dogs are returned to owners, the chance that they are euthanized 
          goes down by roughly 5-20%.

           6.   Related Legislation.   AB 1121  (Pan) of 2011, is a bill which 
             was  similar  to this measure and passed out of this Committee by a 
             vote of 6 to 1.  It was however vetoed by the Governor with the 
             following veto message:

          "I am returning Assembly Bill 1121 without my signature.  Nothing in 
          existing law prevents local governments from issuing puppy licenses 
          or imposing requirements on dog sellers.  In fact, some cities and 
          counties have already adopted excellent programs of the kind 





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          envisioned by this bill.  Licensing and tracking of dogs is 
          quintessentially a local function."  

           AB 258  (Hagman) of 2011, exempts from the rabies vaccination 
          requirement a dog that a licensed veterinarian determines, on an 
          annual basis, would be endangered from the vaccine due to disease or 
          other conditions.  This bill is pending before the Senate 
          Appropriations Committee.

           SCR 51  (Lieu) of 2011, declares July 7, 2011 to be Microchip Your 
          Animal Day 2011 in California and would request that Californians 
          observe this day by having their dogs and cats microchipped and by 
          supporting organizations that provide no-cost and affordable 
          microchipping services.  This resolution is pending before the 
          Senate Rules Committee.

           SB 702  (Lieu) of 2011, prohibits any public animal control agency or 
          shelter, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals shelter, 
          humane society shelter, or rescue group from releasing to an owner 
          seeking to reclaim his or her dog or cat, or selling or giving away 
          to a new owner, a dog or cat that has not been microchipped, except 
          under a specified circumstance.  Because a violation of these 
          provisions would be a crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated 
          local program.  This bill is pending before the Assembly 
          Appropriations Committee.

           AB 2716  (Mendoza) of 2010, provided for a reduced fee for a dog 
          license tag if a certificate was presented from a licensed 
          veterinarian stating that the dog is a puppy under the age of 8 
          months.  By expanding the population of dogs eligible for a reduced 
          license fee, the bill would have imposed a state-mandated local 
          program on a local government which would administer the expanded 
          program.  This measure was referred to the Assembly Committee on 
          Local Government but was never heard.  
           
           SB 250  (Florez) of 2010, restricted the ownership of unsterilized 
          dogs and cats and required surgical sterilization of the animal in 
          specified circumstances.  This bill died on the Assembly Floor.

           AB 1634  (Levine) of 2008, enacted the California Responsible Pet 
          Ownership Act which specifies that a person who owns a dog or cat 
          that is not licensed (or is improperly licensed) and that has not 
          been spayed or neutered may be cited, and if cited, must pay civil 
          penalties. It also increased existing fines for nonspayed or 
          unneutered dogs and cats.  This bill required microchipping of the 
          animal for a second occurrence for which the owner would have to pay 





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          the cost of the microchip procedure, as specified.  This bill died 
          on the Senate Floor.

           SB 861  (Speier, Chapter 668, Statutes of 2005) allows cities and 
          counties to pass specified breed-specific legislation for mandatory 
          spaying and neutering and breeding restrictions.  This bill provides 
          for increased reporting to the State Public Health Veterinarian of 
          dog bite data and other information by local jurisdictions that 
          makes use of the authorization provided by the bill.

           SB 934  (Vincent) of 2005, provided that the entity selling or giving 
          away of an unspayed or unneutered dog or cat shall require the 
          adopter or purchaser to execute a written agreement acknowledging 
          that the dog or cat is not spayed or neutered and agreeing that the 
          adopter or purchaser shall be responsible for ensuring that the dog 
          or cat will be spayed or neutered, as specified.  The bill would 
          have subject a purchaser or adopter who violates the agreement to 
          spay or neuter to specified civil fines and penalties.  Because the 
          bill increased the duties of local humane officers, this bill would 
          have imposed a state-mandated local program upon local governments.  
          This measure was referred to the Senate Business, Professions and 
          Economic Development Committee but was never heard.

           SB 1301  (Vincent, Chapter 253, Statutes of 2004) repeals the sunset 
          date of January 1, 2006, for statutory provisions effective January 
          1, 2000, relating to the spaying and neutering of dogs and cats. 

           SB 1785  (Hayden, Chapter 752, Statutes of 1998) provides that public 
          and private animal shelters are subject to the same anti-cruelty 
          statues as private citizens who take possession of a stray dog or 
          cat and requires animal shelters to keep animals for a minimum of 
          three business days before they are put up for adoption and a 
          minimum of six business days before they are euthanized among other 
          provisions. 

        7.Arguments in Support.  The  Animal Control Directors Association  
          (ACDA) is in support of this bill and points out that dog licensing 
          is a system that was developed to monitor rabies compliance, 
          beginning when a dog reaches the age of 4 months and can be 
          vaccinated against rabies.  There are no provisions within the 
          existing law that clearly allow licensing authorities to provide 
          discounts or incentives for puppies.  The ADCA believes that this 
          measure would provide local jurisdictions an extra option for puppy 
          licensing and the opportunity to increase license revenues by 
          allowing a discounted fee in the first year.  The ACDA also believe 
          that the monthly reporting of information by animal rescue groups, 





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          local Humane Societies, pet stores and pet dealers of all dogs they 
          sell or adopt and the new owner information can be used by the 
          licensing authority to ensure compliance with existing licensing and 
          rabies laws.  "This information will enable local agencies to 
          dramatically increase licensing revenues which help to offset the 
          cost to provide required animal control services."

        The  County of Sacramento  and the  City of San Jose  are in support and 
          believe that this measure will give the County and City needed 
          opportunities to provide animal care services to the public more 
          efficiently and to offset the cost of providing the services with 
          license fees.  It will provide the County and City with more options 
          to ensure the dogs are licensed and that the licenses are renewed, 
          and would provide information about dogs sold or adopted on a more 
          regular bases so that the County and City will be able to provide 
          new dog owners with information about how to comply with existing 
          licensing and rabies requirements.  "Another benefit is that this 
          information would enable local governments to contact owners if 
          their dog ends up in a shelter to facilitate reuniting the dog with 
          its owner more quickly than we are able to do now.

        8.Arguments in Opposition.  The  City of Los Angeles  (City) is opposes 
          this measure based on an action of the City Council.  The three 
          primary reasons for the City Council's action are:

             (1)    The bill effectively allows the dismantling of 
               state-authorized "differential dog licensing" programs in the 
               five most populous counties in California.  Differential 
               licensing provides a powerful incentive for spaying or 
               neutering dogs by authorizing local jurisdictions to charge at 
               least twice as much for an intact dog license as it does for 
               sterilized dog licenses.  This program has been very successful 
               in Los Angeles and substituting a one-size fits all approach 
               for dogs prior to their first birthday essentially incentives 
               breeding that could further contribute to pet overpopulation in 
               the state's urbanized areas.

             (2)    The bill recommends implementation of a "puppy license" to 
               replace differential licensing, an act which promises to reduce 
               revenues to local jurisdictions at the same time it could 
               increase costs by facilitating the birth of more unwanted pets.

             (3)    The imposes an information reporting requirement on 
               nonprofit rescue and adoption organizations statewide that is 
               likely to prove burdensome and which is accompanies by fines 
               for violations.  This combination could service to drive some 





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               of the state's most passionate pet adoption advocates out of 
               the field at a time when they're vitally needed to help 
               underfunded animal control agencies save the lives of more 
               animals.

          The City believes that the mechanisms that this measure employs 
          will, on balance, be detrimental to California's efforts to combat 
          irresponsible pet ownership and high levels of pet euthanasia in 
          public animal shelters.

          The  City of Long Beach  (City) is also opposed and believes the bill 
          will create conflicting reporting requirements for animal transfers 
          within the City, in addition to a new layer of temporary licensing 
          options.  "The City believes the proposed regulations (sic) would 
          complicate existing local laws that currently address animal 
          licensing in a consistent and coordinated manner."  The City is 
          concerned that the reporting requirements excludes what it calls 
          "backyard breeders" and is unnecessary in the City, as its municipal 
          code provides for a more comprehensive reporting requirements.  (The 
          City requires that  every   person  who owns, operates or maintains a 
          location where dogs . . . or other domestic pets are legally sold by 
          of kept for sale, to report specified information on forms provided 
          by the City, and that the report is submitted no late than 10 days 
          from the date of transfer.)  The City indicates that it boasts a dog 
          licensing rate above the State average.  Over 35 percent of dogs in 
          Long Beach are licensed, and the City continually engages in 
          educational opportunities to encourage additional licensing.  Online 
          licensing and increased locations at low cost clinics that rotate to 
          various parts of the City have been effective tools for the City, 
          "and would become complicated by pilot program regulations in AB 
          1939."

          The  State Humane Association of California  (SHAC) is opposed to the 
          requirements of this measure, and in particular the requirement that 
          humane societies and SPCAs submit a monthly report to animal control 
          containing the name, address, and telephone number of every person 
          who adopts a dog.  "For humane societies and SPCAs, their adopter 
          lists are trade secret, conferring independent economic value on the 
          organizations.  If SPCAs and humane societies are forced to 
          surrender adopter lists to local government, they face the risk that 
          the information will be misappropriated.  We are aware of one SPCA 
          that recently provided its adopter list to its local animal control 
          agency to help facilitate an increase in licensing revenue.  
          Unfortunately, this gesture of goodwill turned into an opportunity 
          for the animal control agency to solicit donations on its own 
          behalf.  "Although the bill does contain language that restricts the 





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          use, distribution, and release of the list to ensure compliance with 
          state and local laws, including applicable licensing requirements 
          and regulations, SHAC does not believe it provides adequate 
          safeguards for the protection of this valuable information.  
          Moreover, absent from this bill is a penalty for unauthorized use of 
          the adopter information.
          SHAC is also opposed to the fine for failure to report.  The 
          reporting requirement amounts to a mandate for SPCAs and humane 
          societies for which they would receive no reimbursement from local 
          government.  However, if they fail to report, they would be subject 
          to a fine.  Although SHAC generally supports the concept of AB 1939 
          and understands that adopter information may be instrumental in 
          generating additional licensing revenue, SHAC believes that 
          reporting for humane societies and SPCAs should be voluntary because 
          of its concerns about the use of the information and the fine.  

          Social Compassion in Legislation  (SCIL) is opposed and joins with 
          the State Humane Association, SPCA LA, and other SPCA's and rescue 
          groups throughout the state in opposition to this bill.  Although 
          SCIL agrees with the intention of increasing the number of licensed 
          dogs in the state of California, they believe this bill will only 
          negatively affect the licensing by lowering the fees coming into 
          local jurisdictions and promoting more unaltered pets.  "While 
          California is euthanizing over a half million pets in our shelters 
          each year and spending almost $300 million on animal control, this 
          is the wrong direction."  SCIL indicates that it opposes this bill 
          for the following reasons:

             (1)    Similar to comments of the Governor, SCIL believes that 
               every jurisdiction may want to handle their fee structure 
               differently so this should be left up to the local jurisdiction 
               to decide how to incentivize dog licensing in their local 
               communities.  For example, Orange County already has a "puppy 
               license" which provides for a discount on a license fee until 
               the dog is 6 months of age.  Also, the City of Los Angeles 
               already has a four-month "puppy certificate," and it's free.

             (2)    SCIL is concerned that giving a dog a year for the 
               discounted license is TOO long.  A dog can have up to two 
               litters in one year, which conflicts with the intent of 
               existing law.  Existing law is meant to encourage dog owners to 
               spay and neuter their dogs as soon as they reach 4 months of 
               age.  SCIL is worried that this is the first step toward 
               breaking down this very successful differential licensing law 
               on the books and there are other alternatives for local 
               governments to incentivize pet owners to license their animals.





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             (3)    SCIL agrees with the reporting requirements in concept, 
               however, in this distressed economy it appears to put an undue 
               burden on small businesses as well as local rescue groups and 
               ASPCAs.  Even worse, as argued by SCIL, this bill does not seem 
               to include the "hobby breeder," which coincidentally are more 
               common in California than rescue shelters.  "Not only does this 
               make the code discriminatory, AB 1939 might very well result in 
               LESS animals being adopted in shelters and more through 
               unregulated hobby breeders!"  Furthermore, as SCIL argues, 
               existing law is supportive of reducing the number of unwanted 
               animals through spay and neuter programs.  "The only appeal of 
               a puppy license, which this bill proposes, is to a pet owner 
               who is considering breeding an animal."  

         9.Policy Issue  :  Would Receiving Information on Dogs Sold and Adopted 
          be Useful Information for Local Jurisdictions?  Many of the animal 
          organizations and groups responding to this measure seem to indicate 
          that receiving this information could possibly be useful for local 
          animal control and local jurisdictions for purposes of licensing 
          dogs.  It should be recognized that this is considered to be a pilot 
          program  for several counties throughout the state and as such its 
          purpose is to determine if receiving information about dogs which 
          are sold or adopted would increase the ability for local 
          jurisdictions to obtain an increase in licensing of dogs and also 
          generate increased revenue.  At least for the City of San Jose this 
          appears to be the case, as well as for the City of Long Beach.

        Concerns, however, have been raised by the State Humane Association, 
          SPCAs and others regarding the potential use and misuse of the 
          information provided by these non-profit organizations to local 
          animal control/shelters which includes the name and addresses of 
          those who have for adopted animals and are considered to be 
          potential donors to these organizations.  The Sponsors indicate that 
          the language in the bill and protections to this information 
          provided would seem sufficient to prevent the use of this 
          information by a local shelter to use in an effort to raise money or 
          to use as a their own donor list.  The example given by the State 
          Humane Association is one where there were no legal protections 
          provided such as in this measure.  Also, Sponsors also raise the 
          question of whether there is a direct connection to those who 
          actually adopt dogs from these organizations and then become 
          potential donors.

         10.Policy Issue:   Would Providing the Option to Obtain a "Puppy 
          License" Potentially Increase the Licensing of Dogs in Local 





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          Jurisdictions?  This bill would permit cities and counties to offer 
          puppy licenses for dogs under one year of age.  If the local agency 
          opts to offer puppy licensing, then that city or county would be 
          required to follow the provisions of the bill, which contain the 
          process for the licensing.  For cities and counties that choose to 
          offer a puppy license, the bill requires the local government to 
          offer it for the same fee charged to owners of altered dogs.  A 
          puppy license would be temporary and become permanent only when the 
          owners provide their local licensing agency with proof of proper 
          rabies documentation (no later than five months of age).

        The problem pointed out by opponents of this measure relate more to 
          the use of the differential fee now provided as an incentive for an 
          owner to spay and neuter their dog, then to providing a puppy 
          license.  As a matter of fact, it appears that there are several 
          other local jurisdictions that have actually adopted the concept of 
          providing a puppy license with some success.  The opponents, 
          however, may have a point.  It would seem that one of the major 
          considerations for local jurisdictions is trying to provide whatever 
          incentives are possible so that owners will have their dogs spayed 
          or neutered.  Opponents argue that by requiring the specified 
          jurisdictions of this pilot program to offer the same fee for a 
          puppy license that is offered for a spay or neutered dog ("one-half 
          or less of the fee required for dog tag") that this would provide a 
           disincentive  for owners to get there dog spayed or neutered sooner 
          rather than later (possibly after one year since that is how long 
          the puppy license would be in effect).

        The Author may want to consider rather than tying the puppy license to 
          the spay and neuter fee, that the local jurisdiction be given the 
          ability to provide a "discounted rate" that would be maybe higher 
          than the spayed or neutered fee but obviously lower than the normal 
          dog tag fee.  If an owner obtained a puppy license and then had 
          their puppy spayed or neutered (within the one year), then they 
          should get the  lowest   fee   possible  ; maybe a rebate on the puppy 
          license fee once they had their puppy spayed or neutered or a 
          discounted fee in the future.  Would suggest the Author consider the 
          following amendment:

        On page 5, strike lines 27 and 28, and insert:  "  be offered at a 
          discounted rate.  "

         11.Policy Issue  :  Should Local Jurisdictions That Currently Have Puppy 
          Licensing Programs or Reporting Requirements Be Exempted?  The 
          Author may want to consider grandfathering any of the local 
          jurisdictions that have current programs that offer a puppy license 





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          at a discounted fee or that may have specified reporting 
          requirements for the sale or adoption of animals.  As indicated by 
          the City of Long Beach, they appear to have a successful program for 
          the reporting of dogs which are sold or adopted.  It has also been 
          indicated that other local jurisdictions also have a puppy licensing 
          programs in place. 



        SUPPORT AND OPPOSITION:
        
         Support:  

        Concerned Dog Owners of California (Sponsor)
        Humane Society of the United States (Sponsor)
        California Animal Control Directors Association
        City of San Jose
        County of Sacramento


         Neutral  :

        California Retailers Association
        Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council


         Opposition:  

        Animal Council
        California Federation of Dog Clubs
        City of Long Beach
        City of Los Angeles
        Humane Society Silicon Valley
        Inland Valley Humane Society & SPCA
        PawPAC
        Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA
        San Diego Humane Society and SPCA
        Social Compassion in Legislation
        Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Los Angeles
        SPCA for Monterey County
        State Humane Association of California
        Take Me Home



        Consultant:Bill Gage





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